Naturopathic physicians are primary health care practitioners, whose diverse techniques include modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods. Naturopathic physicians practice homeopathic medicine, which is reliant on natural remedies, and the use of manipulative techniques and Asian medicine to treat the body. These physicians are trained in the healing properties of proper nutrition, botanical medicine, and stress management. They treat the patient holistically.
Licensed naturopathic doctors work as primary care physicians. A patient visit usually includes diagnosis, discussion of possible treatments, counseling about lifestyle or nutrition, prescription of natural remedies, or referral to other medical specialists if necessary. When appropriate, the ND may also perform treatments in his or her office, such as hydrotherapy.
Like most physicians, the naturopathic physicians spend the majority of their day seeing patients in a medical office.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that consumer demand for alternative health care will continue to grow because of “research and changing attitudes about alternative, noninvasive health care practices.” Employment of physicians in general is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations, driven in large part by the rapidly increasing older population.
A Licensed naturopathic physician (N.D.) attends a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an M.D. but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling (to encourage people to make lifestyle changes in support of their personal health). A naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician.
Licensure is required in the state of Connecticut.
Prerequisite: Completed two (2) years of pre-professional college education; Graduated from a school of naturopathy approved by the Connecticut State Board of Naturopathic Examiners and Department of Public Health, with award of the Doctor of Naturopathy degree. Approved schools include only those schools accredited or in candidate status with the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME); Successfully completed both the Basic Sciences (Part I) and Clinical Sciences Examination (Part II) of the Naturopathic Physician Licensing Examination (NPLEX).
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
818 18th Street, NW, Suite 250
Washington, DC 20006